Blazers fight back to force Game 5 No one told the Kamloops Blazers it was over.
Down 4 0 just 11 minutes into the game and staring at the end of their season, the Blazers roared back to defeat the Portland Winterhawks 5 4 on Wednesday night at Interior Savings Centre. The Winterhawks lead the best of seven WHL Western Conference semifinal 3 1 with Game 5 scheduled for Portland on Saturday night. A sixth game, if needed, would be played here on Monday. The Blazers could have collapsed like a cardboard suitcase in the rain. They were down 3 0 in games and had given up four goals on only eight shots to a team that was looking for its eighth straight playoff victory. And the reward for victory would be spending today on a bus headed to Portland. And now it was 4 0 and some of oakley ten the fans had hardly gotten settled into their seats. While the Blazers looked down and out, the Winterhawks looked as though they already were looking forward to the next series, the conference final against the Tri City Americans or Spokane Chiefs. But a funny thing happened on the road to oakley romeo that series the Blazers came alive. Derrick Pouliot, with two, Troy Rutkowski and Cam Reid had given the Winterhawks oakley sunglasses sale 2016 a 4 0 lead as they scored seemingly at will. All eyes were on the Kamloops bench, wondering whether head coach Guy Charron would yank Lanigan and send in rookie Taran Kozun, who played two early season games with the Blazers before being assigned to the SJHL's Nipawin Hawks. Kozun re joined the Blazers a few weeks back after the Hawks' season ended and has been on the bench since starter Cole Cheveldave suffered a concussion in Game 1. But, no, Charron stayed with Lanigan. And Lanigan, to his credit, stood tall the rest of the way. Lipon drilled Portland forward Ty Rattie into the boards at the Portland blue line. Rattie, who leads the WHL with 13 goals in these playoffs, was in distress as he went to the bench, indicated a problem in his lower left back and was escorted to the dressing room. He didn't return to the game. Moments after hitting Rattie, Lipon beat Portland goaltender Mac Carruth with a short side shot upstairs and the Blazers had their first breath of life. Still, the deficit was 4 1; there still was a long way to climb. Portland played with the lead and came awfully close to extending oakley sunglasses factory it on a number of occasions. During one Kamloops power play, the Winterhawks, who had scored three shorthanded goals in a 5 2 Game 2 victory the previous night, had two 2 on 1 breaks and a 3 on 2 rush. But they weren't able to beat Lanigan. And then Kamloops defenceman Bronson Maschmeyer, who had hit a post six minutes earlier, wired a power play point shot past Carruth. Now it was 4 2. The Blazers then caught a break when winger Jordan DePape took the puck into the Portland zone on a play that appeared offside. But the call wasn't made and the sequence ended with centre Brandon Herrod beating Carruth to get the Blazers to within a goal at 18:30 of the second period. The Blazers caught another break just 31 seconds after Herrod's goal when defenceman Austin Madaisky exploded into Portland's Taylor Leier, separating from his helmet. The officials chose to give Madaisky a minor penalty for a check to the head, rather than expel him from the game. Madaisky had missed the last two games of the Blazers' first round sweep of the Victoria Royals as he served a suspension for the same penalty. Attendance was announced at 3,587 and those fans made the noise of 10,000 when Brendan Ranford banged in a rebound to tie the game at 6:03 of the third. And the roof about came off the place less than two minutes later when Ranford won a faceoff in the Portland zone and Dylan Willick fired a quick shot past Carruth's glove. As time wore down, the Blazers were forced to kill two penalties, and they did it with relative ease, getting big shot blocks from Willick and defenceman Tyler Bell. The crowd rose in the last minute and roared as the Blazers held on for the victory. And it kept roaring after the final buzzer. That noise you heard this morning may not have been your alarm clock. It just could be that the crowd still is cheering. JUST NOTES: Kamloops was 2 5 on the power play; Portland was 0 5.... Lanigan finished with 27 saves, while Carruth stopped 29.... The Blazers went with seven defencemen in Game 3, but scratched Landon Cross last night. That allowed F Brayden Gelsinger, 16, to make his WHL debut. He played this season with the midget AAA Tisdale, Sask., Trojans. Gelsinger, who had 42 points, including 22 goals, in 41 games with Tisdale, signed with the Blazers on March 21.... Andy Clovechok, Mr. Hockey in Kamloops, was in the house celebrating his 89th birthday.... The Daily News' Three Stars: 1.
Ranford: A goal and two assists; 2. Willick: Typical Willick night; 3. Lipon: Wouldn't quit.
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